One thing I learnt working as dietitian but not so while studying to become one is that diet and food has different meaning to different people. Not everyone eats food for it’s nutrition.We have learnt eating food since we were born. Our relation with food is a journey. People can relate to food easily and it is life.
In my profession, most of the focus is on teaching about foods and its value to the body. However, what I noticed is that people do not understand the information in the same way. Many of them have strong preferences and dislikes. Even if food is not beneficial to them, parting with some of the foods is unimaginable to them. Sometimes it is about habit and non-availability of choices but many times it is more about their belief system and the pleasure they are seeking in life through food. Food has the ability to take place of love, comfort, and joy in our lives and can give intimacy which we are missing.
Eating in chronic disease can be frustrating with lot of restrictions. Pleasure is a basic need which runs our life. No one wants pain in life. Removing the pleasurable food from our plate is like moving towards pain. When someone tells you not to eat something, we are all the more insistent to eat it. We desire control over our lives, not others controlling our lives.
Sometimes we relate certain foods with different experiences in our lives, be it the past, present or future. Some foods may not be beneficial but we may associate those foods with good times which makes us feel good. We do not like to let go of good experiences. Life feels very meaningless with out this minimum pleasure. Actually these foods are very nourishing to the soul. Soul nourishment alone can make you feel satisfied in life. We always crave for all those things which we are deprived of. Many times we are only substituting our actual needs with these foods. While food may be used as substitute for the actual needs, that is not always the solution to feel the nourishment especially when health gets effected. The point here is that there is something deeper to our food cravings. Examine the cues on how you feel with certain foods and why you feel so. Ask yourself what is making you to not give up that food which is causing your bad health? Chances are that you will know the answer and be able to resolve many deeper issues and also your eating challenges.
The picture above is one of my dinners cooked at home.I cook paneer subji fast and I fill my plate with salad to feel full. This works for me after hectic day at work. I love salad but I am not very particular about any food. I make what ever I see in the refrigerator. Food has to be balanced that is my main requirement. I eat a bowl of strawberry yogurt little after my dinner while I am working on other things. Not everyone at home agrees to my ways but they got used to now.So I am always adventurous and try include different foods.